Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Unicorn on Speed Dial by Jeanette Cottrell

Click HERE to order
When I finished the last of the Harry Potter series I moaned over the fact that NOTHING would ever entrance me and delight me the way dear Harry had done.

I was wrong.

I almost didn't purchase Unicorn on Speed Dial because of the childish cover. Thank goodness I listened to my grandma when she told me you couldn't judge books by their cover ... silly me, I used to think she was making a metaphor about people, but anyway ... poorly designed cover or no, Jeanette Cottrell has written a book that will entertain, delight, absorb, mystify, daze and confuse readers who allowed themselves to fall deep into the folds of Harry Potter's cape.

In a way, (forgive me Ms. Rowling) I think I liked Unicorn on Speed Dial even better because the protagonist was a forty-two year old teacher/housewife/mother/animal trainer. I could identify with her problems a little better than teenage angsts. But, monsters are monsters. Sorcerers and sorceresses are sorcerers and sorceresses (OK, I only wrote that last sentence because it's so fun to read out loud...did you sound like a snake in a blender too?). Dragons will be dragons, unicorns will be unicorns and bugbears will be...wait! What's a bugbear? Read the book. You'll feel just like Dorothy saying gryphons and orcs and dwarves...oh MY!

Very well written with few formatting/typo errors this book captivated me from page one and I actually forced myself to slow down several times, and stop reading entirely a time or two because I didn't want it to be over too soon. A rarity for me. There certainly is enough fodder for a series from the main characters but whether it's stand-alone or Book #1 of 20, this book is an absolute must-read for fantasy lovers. Of all ages. Even us old gray haired curmudgeonly types.

The description from the book's Amazon page:

With a wry sense of humor, this adult urban fantasy pokes fun at American culture. Warmth and offbeat humor are the rules of the day.
Kathryn Koldwell is a suburban housewife, mother of four. She and her family live in a small Oregon town where every family has a two-car garage, Internet access, and the occasional great-uncle who practices a bit of magic. Kathryn has a unicorn named Freckles, and a back yard filled with migrating dragons. She volunteers her time to retrain abandoned ex-familiars with bad magical habits.

Her idyllic life suffers a setback when her son sights a bugbear, a dangerous beast hailing from Galdesyat, a South American country. Then she finds feathers from a gryphon nestling—but no gryphon. Bugbears and gryphons rarely set foot out of Galdesyat. Is there a conspiracy in the offing?

Kathryn and Freckles set out to investigate this mystery, and stumble through a portal to Galdesyat, taking baby Joni with them. Defending her baby with her swinging diaper bag, Kathryn must fight gryphons, trick dwarves, and outthink an orc sorcerer to go home. And reach it she must! Somewhere in her home town, an evil sorcerer lurks with a horrific army, intent on world domination.

Can she possibly manage it? Even with a Unicorn on Speed Dial?

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